FAIRFIELD — He took care of her and now Ashley Campbell feels it’s time to reciprocate.
The 25-year-old daughter of Glen Campell is on tour with her dad through the end of the month. In fact, their last stop is Nov. 30 at the Uptown Theatre in Napa.
In 2011, Campbell, now 76, announced that he had Alzheimer’s disease. Campbell plans on retiring from music after finishing what has been named “The Goodbye Tour.”
Ashley Campbell began seriously playing music with her dad about 2009, accompanying him on tour for fun. Before long, she found herself on stage playing banjo and keyboards.
“I just jumped in and have been doing it ever since,” she said. “The more I performed, the more I fell in love with it.”
Not only is she a musician, Ashley Campbell has taken on the role of protecting her dad in public, especially on stage.
“I don’t want him to look bad,” she said. “You can have eccentric behavior with Alzheimer’s. If he forgets something, I’m there to remind him. I try to help out so he’s not confused. It’s a scary thing to be confused and not know why.”
The rewards far outweigh the responsibility. Campbell is hearing from many of her father’s fans about the impact his music has had on their lives.
She also sees how much her dad appreciates his fans.
“He is very grateful for the life he has been able to lead,” she said. “He loves his fans from the bottom of his heart.”
While there have been many memorable moments on the road with her father, Ashley Campbell relishes the one where father and daughter play “Dueling Banjos.” “He looks at me and he looks at my fingers (on the banjo). And I get a big smile on my face,” she said.
Glen Campbell has more than 50 years in the music business. He made history by winning four Grammy Awards in both the country and the pop categories in 1967.
He also hosted his own variety show on television and starred with John Wayne in the original “True Grit” movie. That song also happens to be Ashley Campbell’s favorite.
“It resonates the most with me. I just love the song, chord changes and the lyrics,” she said.
As for the traits outside of music that she shares with her father, the biggest one is neither like air conditioning directly hitting them, Ashley Campbell said, adding that’s a pretty silly thing.
“We both love life, we have short attention spans and love talking to people,” she added.
After the tour, Ashley and her brother Shannon Campbell will get back to work with their band and look for a record label deal.
She’s learned to realize each day is a gift, just taking each day as it comes.
And, she has a wealth of advice for dealing with a loved one who has memory loss.
“Spend as much time loving them as you can. Use all the patience you have. Know it’s not their fault they are acting the way they are,” she said.
Campbell also advises caregivers take time for themselves. “You need some alone time to recharge,” she said.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.